Lessons for Leaders and Us All

Nov. 5, 2018

1. Your life is your ministry. We tend to separate our life from our “church” life, but in reality, our life and ministry go together. We use the moments in our life to bring Christ into the conversation, to show how His life and His work working through us can change everything and everyone around us.

2. Keep the Word of God moving through you. What does this mean? Often when we read the Word, it ends there. What God wants in our lives is for the Word to be seen, experienced and then repeated so that it flows into every part of life. When the Bible flows into us and through us, then it can flow into others generously.

3. Learn the language of the culture. We all know there are multiple languages in the world, all or most of which we do not know. However, there is another language that we must know if we are going to effectively reach people around us. It is the language of the culture. Until we learn why the people live the way they live or believe what they believe or do the things they do, we may never speak in a language they can understand. Bridging the generational gap requires that we spend the time getting to know people, their likes and dislikes, their customs and practices. Then, we can minister to them in ways they understand, and through this, reach more people with Gospel impact.

4. The death of discipleship is pride. That is, if we have proud leaders and proud followers, then nothing can get accomplished because no one wants to get out of the way. Pride comes through an unteachable spirit, a spirit that says, “I already know this. Teach me something new.” It comes through thinking that you are the source of knowledge for the people and God speaks through you alone (or only through the other teachers). Pride always puts self above God. This is why pride is the death of discipleship. You cannot grow deeper in Christ without becoming more humble before Christ. You must decrease and He must increase.

5. Obedience-based bible studies are the missing link to see greater transformation. We are good at teaching people what they “should” know, but we stink at accountability. We do not have the stomach for accountability in a church world where having the biggest crowds, raising the most money and having the biggest facilities are the measurements for success. Transformation takes place when we obey the Word of God. This is straight from the lips of Jesus as He said how each disciple would be identified.

6. When disciples come to faith in Jesus, the first thing we do is invite them to a service – not a relationship. Jesus never said, “Now that you believe Me, you need to go to the synagogue.” No, Jesus invited them into a relationship with Him, to follow Him. People need people. That is the way God set up the world. God loves community because God is a relational God. In fact, not even God thinks He is enough for you. He made you to be in fellowship with Him and with others. In Genesis 1, after God made man, what did he say? “It’s not good for man to be alone.” Man wasn’t truly alone. He was in the presence of God. However, God made others so that we could relate to one another, love one another and rely on one another. Everyone needs community and discipleship is about being in close community with other believers where the Word of God is guiding our lives.

7. The most critical practices for disciples making disciples who make disciples are prayer and fasting. Fasting with prayer empowers our prayer life to new heights. Isaiah 58:4 says that when you fast God’s way your voice will be heard on high. That is the purpose of fasting, to have our voice heard in heaven. Fasting with prayer is the key to having our spiritual eyes opened and our ears attuned to the will of God. We need to fast and pray as we look for people to disciple, as we pray for our families, as we look for ways to minister, as we live out the life of Christ in our neighborhoods. God will open the windows of heaven before us when we get serious about what we want Him to do.

I hope these seven takeaways help you be a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples. Think through them and put them into practice in your life today.

Pastor Craig